Tag: Jason Marquis

Fantasy Baseball: You Down with Jason Marquis?

Jason Marquis, how can I explain it
I’ll take you frame by frame it
Left Minnesota ’cause he was getting hit
San Diego success has you scratchin’ temple
Why?…well…that’s not that simple

OK, now that I got my Naughty By Nature out of my system, let’s take a look at Jason Marquis’ recent success.

When Marquis left Minnesota he was 2-4 with a bloated 8.47 ERA. Those are beer league softball numbers. Now that he’s back in the National League, it’s like he’s a new man.

For the Padres, he’s still struggling with wins and losses at 1-2, but he has posted a 1.86 ERA over 19-1/3 innings in his three starts.

Marquis has never really been a shut-down pitcher, as evidenced by his lifetime marks of 107-104, a 4.60 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP, but he has at least been a serviceable pitcher with some fantasy value. Those are two things that couldn’t have been further from the truth in his brief stint in Minnesota.

Part of it could be his comfort level in the National League. He is also going to a pitcher’s park (not that Target Field is a launching pad) and to an offensively-challenged division. It also could just be the sweet mustache he’s rocking.

It should not be surprising that Marquis is only owned in a handful of fantasy leagues considering his early-season struggles. I will still only use him as a streaming option, but that wasn’t even a question a few weeks ago. His next start comes tomorrow against the Mariners in Seattle, so continued success wouldn’t be surprising.

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Minnesota Twins: Has Terry Ryan Done Enough to Restore Hope?

Since being renamed the Minnesota Twins general manager, Terry Ryan, according to Baseball-Reference.com, has signed more free agents than any other team in baseball.

On paper, at best it looks like the Twins are no better than they were in 2011, and perhaps a little worse. His approach appears to be to replace what has been lost, and hope what remains returns to the form that delivered 94 wins in 2010, instead of the result in 2011.

With 20 signings, Ryan and the Twins have signed as many free agents as the Tigers, White Sox and Indians combined.

The problem is Ryan appears to be rebuilding the Twins farm system that is not as strong as it was when he stepped down in 2007, with 75 percent of the free agents signed to minor league contracts.

Perhaps one can take some solace in that all 15 of the players signed to minor-league contracts have been invited to spring training. 

The five free agents added to the 40-man roster include catcher/first baseman Ryan Doumit, left fielder Josh Willingham, second baseman Jamey Carroll and starting pitcher Jason Marquis. The re-signing of closer Matt Capps rounds out the Ryan’s work so far.

Gone are free agents Jose Mijares, who signed with Kansas City, Jason Kubel, who is now in Arizona, Michael Cuddyer, who will play with Colorado and Joe Nathan, with the current two-time AL Pennant winner Texas Rangers.

While signing starting pitcher Marquis is a solid move, with a career 104-98 record and a 4.55 ERA, he’s not the staff ace many Twins fans were hoping for.

The addition of Willingham almost offsets the loss of Cuddyer—almost. Gone is the flexibility to play just about anywhere on the field. On the plus side, Willingham brings a bit more power, averaging 16.5 home runs over eight seasons, compared to Cuddyer’s 12.8 per season in 11 years with Minnesota.Even with the worst record in the American League, Minnesota was second only to the Yankees in attendance with 3.16 millions fans attending games at Target Field. With no blockbuster deal, Ryan and the Twins must think that the lure of Target Field will overpower the on-field performance for at least one more season.

The honeymoon of a new ballpark will only carry them so far.

The Twins need to be more than just improved over last season—after all, it shouldn’t take much to improve on their 63-99 record of last season. They need to contend for the AL Central in 2012, or the fans will start looking forward to the Vikings season come August.

The timing to reduce the payroll comes at the wrong time. The Twins need to make a bold move to improve the team. Returning to the success of winning the division only to make a first-round exit in the playoffs is no longer acceptable.

The expectation with the revenue from Target Field was to improve the team and bring another World Series Championship to Minnesota.

Anything less than that is a failure—and Ryan has not even come close with the moves made so far.

All is not lost, yet. Perhaps Ryan is looking to bundle many of those minor-league signees to make a blockbuster trade before the season starts.

Of course, that would be totally out of character and unprecedented for the Twins GM.

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Washington Nationals vs. Florida Marlins:Wasted Effort In Another Loss

After the Washington Nationals’ 11-2 humbling at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, Ryan Zimmerman promised a better effort from the club on Tuesday. Then Zimmerman went out and backed up that promise.

Despite Zimmerman’s tremendous effort, a lack of clutch hitting and a tenth inning error by Jayson Werth allowed the Marlins to win 3-2 on a walk-off hit by Donnie Murphy.

In the third inning, Florida starter Anibal Sanchez threw Zimmerman a 1-0 fast ball that the third baseman rocketed over the left field wall to put the Nationals up 2-1.

Washington was able to maintain that lead until pinch hitter Greg Dobbs drove in Donnie Murphy on sac fly given up by Tyler Clippard. The earned run went to Jason Marquis, who surrendered a double to Murphy to lead off the seventh inning.

Marquis pitched well enough to win, giving up two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work. The good start has to feel good for Marquis, who struggled in 2010 with injuries. Marquis lived in the bottom of the strike zone, getting the Marlins to ground out all night long.

The Nats continue to wear out opposing starting pitchers with patience. Sanchez threw 105 pitches in only 5.2 of work, but surrendered only two earned runs.

The Nationals stranded 12 on Tuesday night, a problem they’ve had all season. It could be the product of the Nationals unusual lineup. If the mediocrity with runners on base continues to be a problem, Jim Riggleman has to move Jayson Werth to the third slot in the order.

It would certainly give Werth more RBI opportunities than he is getting now. Nationals’ lead-off hitters have reached base just once in four games; that’s not how you win games.

Speaking of the lead-off spot, it was revealed Tuesday that Danny Espinosa would take over for Ian Desmond at the top of the order. Desmond will move down to seventh. Credit has to go to Riggleman for making this move as soon as he did and not being stubborn.


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